Water is Life: The New Module on GreenSpaces

Every creature needs water. So do our urban trees. Their needs are not always the same. Whether a tree needs more or less water depends, among other things, on its location, its age and the weather. That is why we have developed a new module that helps cities to optimally plan irrigation. This is how it works: first of all, we consider the past and 72 hours of forecast weather data, in order to calculate water available through precipitation and water subtracted through evaporation and transpiration. Thanks to research carried out by the University of Milano in the project, we can calculate for each tree how much water transpires depending on temperature, solar radiation and the tree age. Since each project tree is inventoried inside the GreenSpaces platform (we know species, age, growing site), it is possible to determine when it needs to be watered. The gardeners receive a two-stage alert on their application: irrigation recommended or irrigation urgent. Weather conditions in the next three days are considered: if rain is expected the alerts are automatically changed. When the gardeners go out to irrigate, they record the amount of water used and the system considers this information to calculate when the tree needs water again.

This new module has the following advantages for the cities: Firstly, the gardeners’ work is better planned because trees are not watered if it rains soon after. Secondly, especially young and freshly planted trees are very vulnerable to drought. The new tool improves their chances of survival and assures their healthiness. Thirdly, the performance of trees as air conditioners in public spaces can be increased if we give them the water they ideally need.

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